Relationship Marketing in the 21st Century

  • Creating Profitable and Interactive Relationships with the Consumer
  • Core Areas for Consideration
    • Trust Management: The Customer is a Stakeholder Too
    • Loyalty Programs & Initiatives: Airlines and Frequent Flyer Clubs
    • Social Bond and Interactivity  in Online Relationship Marketing
    • Support Services & Complaint Management
  • Social Media and Connecting with the Masses
  • Social Media Engagement Activities as  a Platform for Creating Communities
    • Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, LinkedIn, YouTube, Delicious, Buzz, Diggit, Stumble Upon, Blogs, SCVNGR, GetGlue

Creating Cult Brands: Building Brand Equity

  • Realizing and Fulfilling the Power of the Brand
  • Managing Elements of the Brand
    • Brand Position
    • Brand Promise
    • Brand Personality
    • Brand Story
    • Brand Associations
    • Brand Plan
  • Loyalty and Cult Brands: Creating An Emotional Bond with the Consumer
  • Cult Brands: Garnering a Higher Social Meaning
  • Typical Examples:

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Analysis of Consumer Behaviour: Consumption in the 21st Century & Seeking Identity

The process of seeking identity in oneself is a complex and layered one that is interwoven with the human act of consumption in the 21st century. Benwell and Stokoe (2006:170) ponders on the nature of the complex relationship between identity and consumption. One way that Benwell and Stokoe (2006:170) identify how this relationship can be understood is through the interpretation that accords the consumer more power. This interpretation sees consumption as an activity, by which individuals expressidentity and forge solidarity and where the consumer is understood to be competent in playing with or resisting the codes of consumption.

  • Experience and the Search for Identity: Experiential Consumption as an Endless Search
  • Exhibitionism and the Search for Identity: Extreme Consumerism and Voyeurism
  • Compulsive Consumption and Identity: A Degradation of Human Behaviour Exploited Through Consumerism

Ref:Benwell, B and Stokoe, E (2006) Discourse and Identity,Edinburgh University Press Ltd, Edinburgh, pp. 165 – 203

Montana Meth Project: ads that ‘hit you right between the eyes’

The Montana Meth Project was a number of advertisements that were run in the Montana area in an effort to curb the increasing usage of the drug meth among the younger population. The advertisement campaign aims to highlight the social consequences of using the drug. Dennis Taylor, the Project’s executive director said the ads are supposed to ‘hit you right between the eyes’. He says he hopes a change in attitude about the drug will lead to changes in behaviour.

Bleeding Billboard in New Zealand

In New Zealand in an attempt to highlight issues around safe driving, particularly during rain resulted in this extreme advertisement campaign. After a particularly wet season road deaths had risen considerably. The advertisement here bleeds when it rains.

Cultural Sensitivity & De-Sensitisation of the Masses

The issue of cultural sensitivity and the de-sensitisation of the Irish population to media is central to the understanding of shock advertising and advertising in general. The manner in which the respondents constructed meaning and reasoned why shock advertisements sometimes work and don’t work pointed to a number of issues relating de-sensitisation of the masses thanks in part due to advertising:

  • Whether a shock advertisement is deemed sociable acceptable and appropriate by the mass public is determined by whether the advertisement is shown pre or post watershed when shown on television.
  • A shock advertisement must be seen to be considerate of the wider public audience and not only the intended target market.
  • The increasing immunity levels of the mass public audience mean shock advertising will become less of an issue; the population is becoming increasingly desensitised to advertising.

In delineating a relationship between the three points outlined above, the respondents’ perception is that for shock advertisements to become socially acceptable, it must be shown post-watershed if it is of an extreme graphic nature. But for a shock advertisement to actually serve its purpose and shock the intended target market, it must be of an appropriately shocking nature that it will break through the clutter in advertising and also break through the ‘immunity barrier’ in the population. The term ‘immunity barrier’; a term coined by this author, is what shock advertisements are creatively executed on, as ‘immunity barriers’ will vary depending on the cultural and societal setting.